Endowed Giving

Endowed funds are the lifeblood of a university, helping to shape Grand Valley now and in the future. Endowments provide a source of income in perpetuity and can be unrestricted or focused depending on the interest and passion of the donor.

An endowment is a permanent fund that supports an area of the university specified by a donor or group of donors. The principal of the gift-which can be given either with a one--time gift or gifts made over a period of years--is invested and grows over time. These endowments create a constant stream of income. A portion of that income is made available to support students each year.

You can create an endowed fund that reflects your love of Grand Valley and carries you or your family's name forever, or contribute to an existing endowment with gifts of any size.

The most common types of endowment funds are:

  • Scholarships: Need and merit based endowed scholarships help make a Grand Valley education more affordable. Learn more about scholarships. 
  • Professorships/chairs: These fully funded faculty positions ensure that Grand Valley will attract and retain the very brightest teachers and scholars to engage our students.
  • Academic program support: Grand Valley must have the resources and technology so critical to teaching and learning in today’s changing world. Endowed funds help the university keep academic programs relevant and innovative to meet the needs of employers and keep pace with student demand for critical learning.


That are many ways to create a named endowment fund that accomplishes your goals and suits your means. Ideas include:

  • One time gifts of cash or stock
  • Pledges over three to five years
  • Pledge to provide annual distribution and endow later
  • IRA Charitable Rollovers that allows tax-free distributions up to $100,000
  • Gifts through your will or a beneficiary designation
  • Gifts of assets like real estate, bonds, closely held stock or personal property
  • Any combination of the above that best suits your needs!

Endowment FAQs

The endowment is particularly important to Grand Valley because this allows us to have the financial resources we need to fulfill our mission. A strong endowment fund ensures permanent, financial stability.

No. The Grand Valley Fund is the primary source of annual unrestricted private funds at Grand Valley. It is used to provide direct benefits to students and helps to meet the university's highest priorities. Gifts given to this fund will be spent as needed, and often within the year. The Grand Valley State University Endowment Fund is the permanent endowment supporting the greatest needs now and in the future.

Yes, any size gift makes a difference. Larger gifts are usually used to create a new fund whereas smaller gifts support these individual funds and help them grow. In fact, small gifts are very valuable to the Grand Valley endowment because they generally have fewer restrictions and tend to add up quickly.

A variety of funds can be endowed at Grand Valley. The most common types include scholarships, professorships, and academic program funds. Search already established funds for ideas.

Because the types of endowment funds vary, the first step to establishing an endowment is to contact the University Development Office to find out the current minimum investment needed to create a fund.

No. The University Development Office can assist you with ways to build the value of your fund over time.

Yes. Donors who establish an endowment fund have the option to decide what they want it to support.

Yes. The donor can choose to name their endowment however they like. Most people create endowments in their family's name, but they can also be named in honor or memory of a person or organization.

You will receive an annual endowment update from the University Development Office.

Endowed giving may qualify you for tax benefits. As with all gifts to non-profit organizations, it is best to check with your personal financial adviser to evaluate the tax benefits of your specific gift plan.